Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

gracefullygordon asked: When you left Judaism, why for atheism instead of another religion?

Bc as I came to question Judaism more, I started to inspect the claims about god itself. I realized they really didn’t make sense and I so started to disbelieve in god altogether, so choosing another religion wouldn’t have made sense for me. I just don’t believe in god. 

Anonymous asked: I really like winnie the pooh, Can you draw winnie the pooh pleaseeeeee

iguanamouth:

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rofllmao

Met a really stupid person today. This person is considering converting to orthodoxy. I asked why. The response, “it’s just a feeling I have.” I tried to elicit a more precise explanation (what kind of feeling? about what aspect/s of judaism? etc.) to no avail. Oh, this same person reacted to my atheism as such: “Oh, that’s terrible. Atheism is bad, it’s just bad.” I laughed.

Oh, this person also doesn’t believe in evolution bc “why didn’t the other apes turn into people too.”

Can people really still be this dumb?

wakemewmut asked: I have enjoyed your writings for a long time without ever thanking you for taking the time to put your thoughts together for others to digest. That was a bit wordy, but thank you. I appreciate your perspective on life and faith. I find it pretty baffling and nonsensical myself (the faith bit), and I recognize a bit of the kindred spirit in you.

This is definitely one of the most moving messages I’ve gotten here. Thanks so much! Not to sound needy, but it’s nice to know that people appreciate the time that goes into my blog, bc, yeah, it’s a decent amount of time! But honestly, totally worth it if people are finding anything useful or informative or just thought provoking in what I write. ok, enough babbling out of me… thanks so much again!

Aish bullshit at its finest

Wow, will you look at this shit? It’s just so much blather about nothing!

I can’t believe I used to think there was something so great about articles on Aish. Feh.

~~~~

Hey blue, thanks for the submission. You’re totally right (and I completely empathize): what a load of crap. But, as always, I’m gonna break it down:

The Long Road to Heaven

If God loves us, why did He place us in such a dark and evil world?

By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

As one of the rabbis on Aish.com’s Ask the Rabbi service, I find that many people are bothered by the following theological question. [ugh, such a perfectly good waste of a colon : - JA] If God really loves us and wants what’s best for us, why didn’t He just put us straight in Heaven? Let us enjoy a relationship with Him right away! Why did God create such a dark and distant physical world, insisting that we first observe His mitzvot and overcome challenges, only afterwards rewarding us with the World to Come – if we pass our tests? Why expose us to so much evil, pain and temptation beforehand?

I want to reiterate those last two sentences: god (allegedly) has us here despite the many pains and vexations we endure, to earn heaven. And we might not even earn it! (I’m actually rather curious as to what percentage of people do rabbis think make it to heaven.)

Perhaps one would answer that we are not ready for a relationship with God in our current state. We are too coarse and physical today to connect with the infinite. We must first improve and develop ourselves, making us more spiritual and able to enjoy a relationship with the Divine. But if so, why did God have to make us so physical in the first place? Why couldn’t He have created us as angel-like beings, ready to enjoy the ultimate pleasure of closeness to God from the start? Can’t God do anything?

I like that the rabbi is on a fairly intellectually honest start, asking the right and obvious questions, like “why didn’t god just make us differently? He can do anything!” Let’s see how long this lasts.

I would like to discuss three approaches to this issue. But in truth they are all the same answer – three angles to the same fundamental truth. Each point of response will introduce us to yet a deeper and more profound understanding. Let us get started.

Reward or Humiliation?

On the simplest level, if a person receives reward for that which he did not do, it would not be reward. It would be embarrassment. If God would “reward” us by giving us the World to Come for free, we would not enjoy it. We would feel the same shame and humiliation a person experiences in this world living off of charity and handouts. It shames a person to admit his dependence on others – that he could not support himself through his own efforts but must subsist through the beneficence of others. In the spiritual world that feeling is no less – in fact it is infinitely more intense.

"But why didn’t god just make us feel differently? Can’t he do anything?" Yeah, that absolutely legitimate line of questioning lasted around 30 seconds before the rabbi lost it.

Secondly, I think there are lots of people who really don’t mind living off of others. So, yeah, the premise of your argument seems invalid to me even without an omnipotent god who could do anything.

Thirdly, I think it’s weird to compare our experience in this world with a situation where an infinite being would provide everything we need (or want?). That’s very different from a world where most people have to struggle to survive. I might feel spoiled if I have rich parents, but I probably wouldn’t mind if EVERYBODY had rich parents - or all the same “parent” (ie god). The comparison is just unsound. I mean, for instance, if the gov’t gave everyone $500 to boost the economy, no-one is going to feel ashamed. Everyone would be thrilled (assuming everyone thought it was a good idea, bc they might be concerned about the gov’t running out of money - a concern which, again, doesn’t apply to god). ok, lets move on…

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phoenixstar:

31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
31:2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
31:3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.
31:4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.31:5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
31:10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
31:11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
31:12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
31:13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

But remember, it’s impossible to be moral without religion. riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

phoenixstar:

31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

31:2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

31:3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.

31:4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.31:5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.

31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.

31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

31:10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.

31:11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.

31:12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.

31:13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.

31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

But remember, it’s impossible to be moral without religion. riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Frank Sinatra on Religion (like a boss)

  • Playboy: From what you’ve said, it seems that we’ll have to learn something of what makes you tick as a man in order to understand what motivates you as an entertainer. Would it be all right with you if we attempt to do just that—by exploring a few of the fundamental beliefs which move and shape your life?
  • Sinatra: Look, pal, is this going to be an ocean cruise or a quick sail around the harbor? Like you, I think, I feel, I wonder. I know some things, I believe in a thousand things, and I’m curious about a million more. Be more specific.
  • Playboy: All right, let’s start with the most basic question there is: Are you a religious man? Do you believe in God?
  • Sinatra: Well, that’ll do for openers. I think I can sum up my religious feelings in a couple of paragraphs. First: I believe in you and me. I’m like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life—in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. But I don’t believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. I’m not unmindful of man’s seeming need for faith; I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle. The witch doctor tries to convince us that we have to ask God for help, to spell out to him what we need, even to bribe him with prayer or cash on the line. Well, I believe that God knows what each of us wants and needs. It’s not necessary for us to make it to church on Sunday to reach Him. You can find Him anyplace. And if that sounds heretical, my source is pretty good: Matthew, Five to Seven, The Sermon on the Mount.
  • Playboy: You haven’t found any answers for yourself in organized religion?
  • Sinatra: There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well. In India they worship white cows, monkeys and a dip in the Ganges. The Moslems accept slavery and prepare for Allah, who promises wine and revirginated women. And witch doctors aren’t just in Africa. If you look in the L.A. papers of a Sunday morning, you’ll see the local variety advertising their wares like suits with two pairs of pants.
  • Playboy: Hasn’t religious faith just as often served as a civilizing influence?
  • Sinatra: Remember that leering, cursing lynch mob in Little Rock reviling a meek, innocent little 12-year-old Negro girl as she tried to enroll in public school? Weren’t they—or most of them—devout churchgoers? I detest the two-faced who pretend liberality but are practiced bigots in their own mean little spheres. I didn’t tell my daughter whom to marry, but I’d have broken her back if she had had big eyes for a bigot. As I see it, man is a product of his conditioning, and the social forces which mold his morality and conduct—including racial prejudice—are influenced more by material things like food and economic necessities than by the fear and awe and bigotry generated by the high priests of commercialized superstition. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m for decency—period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday—cash me out.
  • Playboy: But aren’t such spiritual hypocrites in a minority? Aren’t most Americans fairly consistent in their conduct within the precepts of religious doctrine?
  • Sinatra: I’ve got no quarrel with men of decency at any level. But I can’t believe that decency stems only from religion. And I can’t help wondering how many public figures make avowals of religious faith to maintain an aura of respectability. Our civilization, such as it is, was shaped by religion, and the men who aspire to public office anyplace in the free world must make obeisance to God or risk immediate opprobrium. Our press accurately reflects the religious nature of our society, but you’ll notice that it also carries the articles and advertisements of astrology and hokey Elmer Gantry revivalists. We in America pride ourselves on freedom of the press, but every day I see, and so do you, this kind of dishonesty and distortion not only in this area but in reporting—about guys like me, for instance, which is of minor importance except to me; but also in reporting world news. How can a free people make decisions without facts? If the press reports world news as they report about me, we’re in trouble.
  • Playboy: Are you saying that…
  • Sinatra: No, wait, let me finish. Have you thought of the chance I’m taking by speaking out this way? Can you imagine the deluge of crank letters, curses, threats and obscenities I’ll receive after these remarks gain general circulation? Worse, the boycott of my records, my films, maybe a picket line at my opening at the Sands. Why? Because I’ve dared to say that love and decency are not necessarily concomitants of religious fervor.
  • Playboy: If you think you’re stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?
  • Sinatra: No, let’s let it run. I’ve thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I’ve said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don’t want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock’s running.
  • ~~~
  • Fuck yeah, like a boss. Damn, my respect for Sinatra just increased exponentially.

Wow, so much ignorance in this video. Y’all probably know the problems with these arguments, but I think I’m gonna eat some of this low-hanging fruit and spell it out for those few who think the video makes remotely decent arguments:

1. “There is nothing in human experience that let’s us create something from nothing.”

A) Why limit yourself to human experience? Surely everyone can agree that lots of things happen that are outside our experience, like quantum effects, or time dilation, yet we know these things happen.

B) Which brings us to an uncomfortable fact: We know, scientifically, that there are particles which do spring into and out of existence! : Virtual particles (x)

C) And how exactly is god allowed to be an exception to this rule? **cough**cough** Special Pleading **cough**cough**

2. Paley’s Watch-In-The-Desert Argument

A) The main problem with Paley’s argument is, as Dawkins points, that watches (or phones) don’t mutate and reproduce. Evolution doesn’t argue the spontaneous creation of things like lions or or seagulls - they evolved. It takes millions of years for the process to produce dramatic results. Comparing it to an inanimate object is like comparing apples and rocks.

B) As Hume pointed out, we have experience with watch-making (or phone making). We know how phones are made. We know what it requires. We have experience with it and so know where not to expect to find them and we’re skeptical of processes producing it which are contrary to our experience. In contrast, Hume argued (and remember, he lived before Darwin), that we don’t have experience with whatever process produces the variety of living things on earth, so how can one say what they should or should not expect?

Put another way, my neighbor has an artificial waterfall in their yard, but I would be completely mistaken if I then concluded that all waterfalls in the world were constructed the same way - that is, by human intervention. So one can’t compare processes for things we know with those we don’t. It’s like comparing apples and aliens.

C) Lastly, as wonderfully basic as that old philosophical argument is, the fact is that we know for a fact that animals have evolved over time. Horses used to be 3 feet tall with 3 toes; now they’re 6 feet tall with one toe. There are bacteria which can digest synthetic materials which humans invented in the last century. We have fossil evidence, genetic evidence, anatomical evidence, etc etc. What do creationists have? Poor philosophy and an old book.

3. Earth is so perfect! “Everything we know about earth suggests it was designed to sustain life.”

Really? How about the fact that the vast majority of plants and animals can only use the outer crust of the earth as a home? How about the fact that 99% of species that ever existed have died? How about the mass die-offs that have occurred on the planet? How about the ice ages? How about epidemics? And tsunamis? And earthquakes? How about nature being ‘red in tooth and claw’ - that is, a savage struggle to survive. How about the fact that even on the surface of earth, much of the planet is extremely harsh: super hot deserts, freezing cold arctic, etc And that’s the earth we have now! The earth, for instance, used to have a different atmosphere. It used to be bombarded with lethal rays from the sun till things like the ozone layer developed.

In short, the earth sustains life, but I think it’s clear that only a biased judge would conclude that it was “designed to sustain life”.

4. The earth orbits the sun so perfectly!

A) Throughout the universe we find planets and stars which orbit each-other. The earth is not unique in that regard. at all.

And if the earth fell out of orbit, we’d just be one of many planets and stars which have done the same.

B) If earth wasn’t capable of supporting life (e.g. flew out of orbit or into the sun - and btw, we are slowly moving closer toward the sun), then we’d just not be here to talk about it. 

In other words, it’s like someone arguing that they have a truly perfect race car bc it’s never been in an accident. “This car wants me to live! This race-car will simply not get into an accident! Look at me, I’ve been driving it for years and I’m still alive!” That argument is great unless or until that person gets into an accident and dies. Then the argument no longer works - but the person isn’t here to see his mistake. It’s only bc he hasn’t died, that he can reach this faulty conclusion. That is, it’s only perfect till it’s not. Same with earth: If it didn’t support life, we wouldn’t be here to say, “wow, it supports life.” But the mere fact that it does support life - for now, most of the time - doesn’t imply that it was designed for life anymore than a planet which fell out of orbit was “designed not to have life!

C) That bit about the moon and the eclipse  - lol, yeah, that’s some critical thinking right there. “The moon looks about the same size as the sun. Clearly god did that! For what reason -  who the hell knows?! - but it’s so interesting it must be god!” lol

5. “We’ve got such a super balance of gases in our atmosphere!”

A) Yeah, except when we didn’t. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth#Evolution_of_Earth.27s_atmosphere

B) Much of the changes in the atmosphere were done by us and other living things. The earth is a giant ecosystem which evolves along with the living elements. The earth evolved an atmosphere which suits us (at least, at most places on the surface) just as much as we evolved to use that precise atmosphere.

If we lived near a hydrothermal vent, we’d be saying how great it is that our atmosphere is freezing, super dense salt-water with rushes of boiling sulfur oozing into it. “Clearly this was designed for us!” Orrrrrrr… we’d be like the many forms of life which evolved to live there.

6.) “It’s very soothing and comforting believing [in god]”

That could be the case (or could not be), but is still not a good reason to believe in anything. I might wish spider-man was patrolling the streets of NY, but that doesn’t make it so.

7. ‘The design we see makes for conclusive proof in god.’

A) I don’t see conclusive proof of design. At all.

B) Even if we did - which we don’t - that’s not conclusive proof for god. We could just as well imagine any extraordinary or supernatural explanation: Maybe aliens designed earth (or even our universe)? Maybe we’re living in the matrix? Could be anything. There’s no demonstration of how the alleged proof of design is proof of god. It’s just another one of those “therefore god” faux-arguments. 

8. “So who is god? We know from his final revelation…”

I’m gonna quote bluejewofzsouchmuhn here:

"God’s final revelation." —Muslims

"God’s new and improved testament." —Christians

"God’s original, no-bullshit, straight-up truth." —Jews

"Some stuff those other guys forgot to tell you about god." —Mormons

"Wait, you can’t leave me out of this." —Sun Myung Moon

"You’re all so confused. Here, let me help." —L. Ron Hubbard

Etc. etc. etc.

smh

(Source: godlessmen)

weedandpoker asked: I'm going to get back to you. I'm getting attacked right now, plus you wrote a lot.

take your time, and enjoy your flame war.

Jameela’s Story: Defying the Hijab

exhijabifashion:

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As soon as I came to London from Afghanistan at the age of 9, I was forced to wear the hijab, I was brainwashed and abused - I won’t go into details. And the older I got the worse it got. 

I was constantly reminded of marriage, how I should behave and was threatened that if I disobeyed them they will cane me and they even threatened to kill me if I ever thought of running away. I was a slave, I was forced to pray too, every aspect of my life was controlled. I could not have Facebook or Twitter, but I secretly had Twitter and one day they found out I had Instagram, I was beaten, and was made to kneel and apologise for my “slutty behaviour” and was given a final warning that they will take me out of university. Getting into university was hard because I had to beg and I had to have excellent grades to be even considered, it was my only alternative to staying at home. 

image

When I started university I had to give in my timetable, I was not allowed contact with the opposite sex, my biological parents used Islam to justify their actions, saying that men and women should not be in the same room otherwise they will commit zina. They even forced me psychologically and physically to hand over my student finance loan and grant for “only sluts have money” and “you have to support the family”.

As I was getting older, talks of marriage became increasingly frequent, and so my biological mother also raised the issue of a wife’s “duties”.  I asked my biological mother what if a woman says no, she replied saying “no such thing”. 

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I met someone on Twitter last year who understands me, cares for me, and loves me, and I feel the same way about him. I fell in love and there was no way going back, I did not want to get married to someone against my choice. Girls in the Afghan culture get married off early and there were many proposals from Afghanistan and Pakistan and my parents were planning to go there on “holiday” and they said they will take me with them too. 

My partner is Jewish, and my biological parents have always referred to Jews as “filthy” and used Islam to justify their hate against Jews. I wanted to escape that hell, and I did. 

I bought a ticket to France and left. The first thing I did the moment I got on the train was throw the hijab in the bin where it belongs. I hate the concept of hijab, it is a symbol of oppression, created by men to chain women and anyone who speaks out against it is “disciplined” by ways of corporal punishment and/or rapes.

Me and my partner have got numerous death threats, and I was threatened with rape too. I recently got a message saying that I will be found and killed and my primitive biological father once told me that he is willing to kill for honour and he is more than happy to go to jail since “Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty” will look after him. He calls himself a “proud” British citizen yet supports the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, every known terrorist organization. 

Now I am free, independent and I lead my life the way I want and with whom. I dress the way I want, I eat what I want, I control my life, I would rather die fighting for my principles than live on my knees.

image

Damn, this girl is brave!

(via bluejewofzsouchmuhn)

Anonymous asked: What do you think of rambam? Specifically his conception of god as a primal force, as an intellectual principle, as something that can only be defined by what it is not?

He’s interesting, less ridiculous than most of his rabbinic peers, and not a terrible philosopher.

God as a primal force must be clarified: If we mean something conscious with a will (as I’m pretty sure that Maimonides does), then, again, perhaps less ridiculous than other versions of god, but still not something I believe in. If he means a static, unthinking force, then I consider god indistinguishable from nature, and simply wouldn’t call it “god”, let alone worship it.

As for defining god by what it’s not, eh, I’m not sure I buy it as a sound position, and I don’t like how it’s easy to say what god is by just saying what he isn’t: “god isn’t plural” - i.e. god is one. “god isn’t weak” - i.e. god is mighty, etc, aside from the fact that bible itself uses many affirmative words for god’s nature. So, all in all, it seems like a bit too much semantic games for my liking.

But most importantly, I don’t believe any god exists, so having a slicker version of god still isn’t that impressive to me. It’s like when I watch movies about vampires: some try to make it more believable with subplots like ‘how it’s caused by a mutation” or a virus or whatever; and some vampire movies just embrace that it doesn’t make logical sense. I enjoy both, and I enjoy the “scientific explanations” that are sometimes offered - but I don’t find either convincing.

Anonymous asked: "If I were capable of grasping god objectively, I could not believe. But because I cannot do so, I must believe." -kirkegaard Thoughts?

Well, let’s first see the full quote:

"Without risk there is no faith. Faith is precisely the contradiction between the infinite passion of the individual’s inwardness and the objective uncertainty. If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe [that is, one would "know" - JA], but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast the objective uncertainty, so as to remain out upon the deep, over 70,000 fathoms of water, still preserving my faith.”

Kierkegaard is of the opinion that actual knowledge of god is impossible, and so to “know” god can only mean “belief”, as in belief in the absence of real certainty.

I’m not sure if I agree philosophically with that position, because I’m not certain that it would be impossible for a god to make people “know” him with certainty. However, no god has clearly done that. No-one knows anything for certain. So, practically speaking, belief in god is faith-based, not knowledge based.

Put another way, Kierkegaard was endorsing “agnostic theism”, saying that “gnostic theism” is impossible. Interestingly, I agree with the flipped version of that, that it’s impossible to know for a fact that something like god (whether a version we’re familiar with or another kind) does not exist - which is why I’m an “agnostic atheist” (as are most atheists, including famous ones like Dawkins).

So, not sure I agree with the philosophy entirely, but I think he makes some good observations (“If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast the objective uncertainty”) and what to think about.